Metro Phoenix is so spread out that sometimes we feel like all we do is drive from one far-flung destination to another. So it's nice when we can just park the car once and get access to a whole bunch of cool stores. Uptown Plaza, on the northeast corner of Central Avenue and Camelback Road, has plenty to do and see. We can find things to decorate our home at Urban Silo Market, Modernique, and West Elm; pick up a chic baby gift at Cricket & Ruby; and fill our closets at Manor, Local Nomad, R&R Surplus, francesca's, and Muse Apparel. And after our car is filled with shopping bags, it's time to either shop for dinner at A.J.'s Fine Foods or grab a bite at one of Uptown Plaza's popular dining options, eateries such as Shake Shack, Lou Malnati's, Flower Child, or Zookz.

We've all been there. You're running to catch your flight with one carry-on bag flung over your shoulder, ready to whip out your mobile boarding pass on your way to battle through security when it hits you: You forgot a card (let alone a present) for your BFF's birthday. Fear not. You don't have to settle for a "I love Phoenix" T-shirt-clad teddy bear and a Walgreens-quality greeting card. Just head for the airport outpost of local favorite Bunky Boutique, where you can score a gift so good your bestie won't even know she was forgotten. High-quality and locally minded merchandise, including letterpress cards, succulent-stamped tea towels, and jewelry from local designers, make this a don't-miss shopping spot for visitors and Valley residents alike. The airport boutique even stocks men's and women's tanks and tees with Bunky's exclusive AZ Love design.

Brass Armadillo

We couldn't live another minute without a pristine penguin ice bucket, and so we headed to The Brass Armadillo Antique Mall. Would they have one? We knew they would — and they did. Two of them, in fact. We also came away with a 1960s brass-and-glass standing ashtray, a plaster cherub lamp, and a set of Scio Pottery Hampton dishware we'd been hunting for ages. Conveniently located just off Interstate 17 and Cactus Road (with another location in Goodyear), and chockablock with gorgeous old stuff, the Armadillo is open till 9 p.m. seven days a week, for those of us who like a late-night hunt for a mint-in-box Oscar the Grouch hand puppet, or a pair of Drexel china cupboards in mint condition. Nicely organized with street signs, the Brass Armadillo's boulevards of merchant boutiques are all neatly arranged and frequently restocked, so repeat trips are a must.

Modern Manor

We looked high, and we looked low, and we couldn't find a 1960s sectional sofa with rounded corners that wasn't either beat to crap or cost a bazillion dollars. And then we stopped by Modern Manor in the Seventh Avenue Melrose shopping district, and ... there it was, for a song. Newly restored, too, re-covered in nubby vintage fabric and precisely what we were looking for. This place is jam-packed with midcentury gems — everything from 1950s table lamps to 1970s television sets (fully restored and working fine, of course). The friendly owners are always on hand to talk armchair this and swag lamp that, and our only complaint is that the pristine stock is so gorgeous, it never sticks around. If you see it, buy it — from Modern Manor.

We wanted a bunch of interior decor from the '60s, and lately, who doesn't? Prices on this never-hotter era of furniture reflect its popularity, and after slogging through every local Midcentury Modern shop in search of a bargain, we wandered into Jane — and struck pay dirt. For less than a grand, we drove away with a good-as-new Herculon sofa and matching armchair, a neat metal-and-teak magazine rack, and a gold-foiled cocktail set that screams "Don Draper!" The staff at Jane is friendly and helpful, and the prices on the pristine merchandise are more than fair. Both of these things make Jane a special standout among purveyors of swinging '60s furnishings.

One day last spring, we stopped by Flo's hoping to find a nice piece of ceramic or maybe a swell saucer. We came out with a bag full of Fiestaware, Harker pottery, and French Saxon side plates. A few weeks later, we stopped by again, certain we'd never have that kind of luck again. Wrong. Our booty that day included service for eight of unused, mint-in-box Boontonware — and all for less than $30. On a later visit, we snagged a rare Steubenville Plaid gravy boat and an Anchor Hocking lunch set for just $5. All the dishware here is clean as a whistle and attractively displayed in a fresh-smelling thrift shop every dish collector should know about.

Searching high and low for a round leather sofa meant two things: exhaustion and prices beyond our budget. Then we fell into Copenhagen Clearance, where we found our holy grail: a colossal, circular sofa of delicious gray buckhide, marked so far down from its original price that we asked if they had another, so we could buy two of them. All the gorgeous Danish-inspired, Midcentury-perfect lamps, side tables, and armchairs anyone could ever want can also be found here. Check back often, as the Copenhagen crew restocks this tidy warehouse space daily.

The moving company that relocated us from our old house to our new one somehow managed to destroy our favorite 1957 Zenith Cobramatic hi-fi, and we despaired of finding anyone who knew how to repair one properly. Every place we called just shrugged or laughed at us, and then we found Fergie's, and within a week our happiness — and our record player — was completely restored. The friendly staff at Fergie's treated our fave stereo like the treasured heirloom it is, and charged us a better-than-fair price for its complete restoration. Fergie's also repairs televisions both old and new, so we're thinking about buying a Philco Predicta, just so Fergie can fix it.

The last thing we want is for our home to look like everyone else's, so we visit For the People in central Phoenix when it's time to find a new addition (or several) to our decor. FTP's inventory tends toward the contemporary and Midcentury Modern aesthetic — think simple shapes, clean lines, and a lot of style. You can find items big and small at FTP, from tables and bookshelves to paper lamps and dishware. We've stopped in just to browse and left with objects like abstract candleholders, art books for the coffee table, cool prints for our walls, and more. Our home has never looked better.

ABC Cake Decorating Supplies

We love longstanding businesses that have supplied the Valley "for generations" in any way, shape, or form. ABC Cake Decorating Supplies has been around since 1965, when they first began providing cake decorators, candy-makers, and bakers with their seemingly endless stock of candy and cake decorations, molds, fondant, pans, cookie-cutters, and more. If you're making something, they have the supplies for everything from candy to cake pops, push pops, cakes, muffins — you name it. They also carry boxes, boards, baking cups, and cellophane bags for when you're ready to show off your final product. Carried manufacturers include Wilton Industries, CK Products, Deco-Pac, Americolor — the list goes on. And in case none of this means anything to you, ABC Cake Decorating Supplies also offers basic to advanced decorating classes.

Best Of Phoenix®

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